Fri, Sep 20, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Doctor wins battle to have her ID card changed to Taiwan

CONTRIBUTION:Taiwan is ranked sixth in the world in quality of death, while China is ranked 71st, Tsai Hui-shan told the medical association

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The African Palliative Care Association conference identification card of Tsai Hui-shan, which identifies her country as Taiwan, is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA

A Taiwanese doctor has succeeded in lobbying the African Palliative Care Association to reissue an identification card so that her nationality would read “Taiwan,” instead of “Taiwan — Province of China.”

A resident doctor in Eswatini, Tsai Hui-shan (蔡蕙珊) said that she had applied to participate in a forum held by the association in Luanda, the capital of Angola, from Tuesday through tomorrow.

Last month she found that the association’s Web page for applications labeled her nationality as “Taiwan — Province of China,” Tsai said.

While many nations in Africa are friendly toward China, Eswatini, Taiwan’s only remaining diplomatic ally on the continent, should not have made such an error, Tsai said.

Writing to the association, Tsai said that the information on the Web site was incorrect, and demanded that the association recognize that Taiwan is an independent nation and not a province of China.

“I make this urgent request because of Taiwan’s significant contribution to the palliative care industry and the importance of it not being overcast by misinformed association with China,” Tsai wrote in her letter.

Tsai cited the nation’s independent legislative and administrative government, and compared its rapid progress in hospice and palliative care over the past two decades with China’s lack of development in the sector.

Taiwan is ranked sixth in the world in quality of death, while China is ranked 71st, she said, citing a 2015 index by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“In this matter, Taiwan’s ... efforts cannot be ignored,” Tsai said.

Human rights are only regressing in China, Tsai said, adding that the situation is completely different in Taiwan, which is pushing to legislate for patient autonomy.

Putting China and Taiwan together in this regard is an insult to the contributions Taiwan has made to palliative care and hospice, she said.

Tsai said that the new identification card she wore to the forum would allow the world to hear Taiwan’s thoughts on the issue.

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